Home-Brewed Insulin: Pipe Dream, or Could It Be a Reality One Day?

One company is attempting to help diabetics with the cost of insulin. They hope to come up with a cost-effective way for people to brew some up at home-- but can their vision ever be realized?

The Dream

Bio-hackers are people with their own home science labs who experiment and seek solutions to problems, without the interference of institutions and corporations. Indie Bio is crowdsourcing bio-hackers to try and create home-made insulin in labs.

"Insulin is the first medicine we're trying [bio-hacking] with," said Indie Bio's Ryan Bethencourt to National Public Radio. "It is probably the largest need of any biologic drug I know of."

If diabetics could make their own insulin at home for little to no cost, they could save thousands of dollars per year.

The Problem

While it is possible that insulin could be made in a home lab, the concern would be safety. One mistake resulting in a bad batch could be potentially deadly, considering insulin gets injected.

Bethencourt's been criticized for ignoring the potential dangers of his company's venture, but still seems eager to proceed.

Photo: Health Tap